Saudi Court to Try Peaceful Protestors in Qatif

A Saudi court in Qatif, Eastern Province, is due to try a number of residents of the city on charges of attending anti-regime protests.

The protestors and activists who are due to be tried in the Saudi court on Monday are 60 people aged between 20 and 45, and they are accused of attending illegal gatherings and writing "provoking" materials in social networks.

Saudi people stage anti-regime demonstrations in the town of Qatif almost on a daily basis, calling for the freedom of political detainees held in the kingdom's prisons.

The demonstrators shout slogans against the Al Saud ruling family and denounce the suppression of protests in the oil-rich province.

Activists say a large number of the political prisoners are being held by the Al Saud regime without trial or legitimate charges.

There have been numerous demonstrations in the oil-rich Eastern Province since February 2011, with protestors primarily calling for political reform and an end to widespread discrimination.

Anti-government protests intensified, however, since November 2011, when security forces opened fire on protestors in Qatif, killing five people and leaving scores more injured.

In October 2012, Amnesty International called on Saudi authorities to stop using excessive force against the protestors.